June 22, 2014, Metz- Today is the 28th anniversary of my father’s passing. I think he is pleased that I was able to visit the home city of his paternal ancestors: Rouen. He would also approve of my visit to Luxembourg, a small, hard-working city of unpretentious people. I started the day with another visit to Luxembourg’s Baha’i National Centre. This time, I met the caretaker and was allowed to take some time to pray and meditate in the large meeting room, although it was officially closed.
He graciously took me over to the home of another Baha’i family, for a devotional gathering, followed by a delicious brunch. I was very much touched by the melodious voices of the Baha’i youth, who joyfully sang their prayers and devotional tunes. We all joined in chanting “Allah’u’abha” (“God is the All-Glorious”),and several adults said prayers in French, Portuguese, Persian and Magyar. Yes, I said a prayer in English, for the success of an upcoming gathering at the Baha’i House of Worship, in Frankfurt, which I would visit later in the week. Here is the group, my finest Luxembourgian friends.
The chef, sixth from left, prepared an exquisite meal for us
So, my friends in Nashville, John and Mary, that is the REAL reason I went to Luxembourg 🙂
After the brunch, Madame showed me her prolific garden. I gladly accepted a bag full of sour cherries, from this tree.
The back yards are long and narrow, but every centimeter is put to good use.
With this lovely send-off, I was driven back to Hotel Vauban, and made my way to the train station. I was soon en-route to Metz, capital of Lorraine. It did not take more than an hour to get there. The train station in Metz is majestic. ( If you sense a difference in the quality of the photo, it’s unfortunately very simple. My photos from Metz to my departure from Frankfurt were lost in a mishap with the computer. I will be accrediting the photos that are not watermarked, as I am borrowing them from Google.)
(Above, courtesy of @ arielbravy.com.)
(Below,courtesy of ResidHome, LLC.)
I walked at a brisk pace down the road a bit, to ResidHome-Metz, a large, modern hotel, which seems to cater to single male workers. The desk staff is courteous, but firm with the rules. The young women who are chambermaids are attentive to their tasks, but want no contact with the male guests. This could very well be the fruit of some rather nefarious acts, in times past. All I wanted there was exactly what I received: Professional courtesy.
I had lots of daylight left, so the destination was first Avenue Foch, named for the great French commander of World War I, then to the banks of the Moselle and its canals. Here are some of the row houses, which accommodate immigrant workers, along Avenue Foch. (Photo courtesy of forum.skyscraperpage.com)
Metz Cathedral, by day and night, is a spectacle worthy of an hour or more. I had the former, and again was most impressed. (Photo courtesy of panoramio.com.)
(Above photo, courtesy of hdrcreme.com.) (Below, courtesy of en.wikipedia.com)
Let’s go down to the Citadelle, and along the banks of the Moselle and its network of barge canals. It seemed much of Metz was there, on that bright, beautiful Sunday afternoon and evening. I enjoyed a kebab sandwich, ice cream cone and mineral water, amusing the college-student servers with my earnest, but halting French. The furtive young couples in the Citadelle did appreciate my quick exiting their little nooks. (Photo courtesy of fodors.com)
Fathers and sons were fishing. Teen boys were pestering teen girls. A toddler was in awe of the swans and ducks, which were prolific along the Moselle. Bicyclists were also prolific and moving with a purpose that reminded me of Ghent and its jam-packed sidewalks. The bridges were certainly jam-packed in Metz.
(Photo below, courtesy of flickr.com)
I made a mental note to explore the university quarter and old city more thoroughly, as well as going up to Bellecroix, on Monday. It would be one of my longest and most intense days of this journey. Today, though, had been a pleasant day among many carefree Lorraignais.